COVID-19’s impact on the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry has been immense.
If your average consumer stocked up on food, beverages, and household goods every week before, think about how much those needs have shifted in the past month and a half alone. Toilet paper is the most iconic example, low-hanging fruit that it may be
If you’re in the CPG industry, it pays to know precisely what has changed during this unprecedented period so that you can adjust your business objectives and marketing strategies in accordance. Not only will this create security for your company in the present moment, but it will also give you plenty of time to prepare for the future, too.
Recent Changes in the CPG Industry
Overall, expectations for supply and demand have changed for CPG companies—drastically. For some sectors, this means unexpected growth; for others, an alarming decline.
Dramatic Increase in Sales
U.S. CPG sales have been skyrocketing—take the $8.5 billion increase during the last two weeks of March, for one. That’s 15 times the usual amount. We’ll just let you absorb those numbers for a moment.
In some ways, it’s not entirely surprising. In light of stay-at-home orders and other restricted living situations, consumers are stocking up in bulk when they find those much sought-after items like paper towels and hand sanitizer. But that means CPG companies really have to work to keep up production while preparing for those occasional periods of lessened activity, too.
Inconsistent Purchasing Practices
For the most part, unpredictable purchasing patterns are a lose-lose scenario. It’s true that online spending may be increasing (by 35 percent for CPG items, in fact), but many of those online retailers are now finding themselves overwhelmed with orders, leading to delays in delivery and order cancellations. And CPG brands slow to communicate with customers about these hiccups (or with an otherwise sub-par online presence) may leave consumers feeling uncertain about the future.
Tangible Ways CPG Industries Can Cope with Coronavirus
We hear you, CPG companies—it’s hard to keep your head above water during this time, much less find success. But it can be done, so long as you’re committed and intentional in your game plan. Here are some actionable steps you can take on the digital marketing side of things.
Adjust Your Content Marketing Strategy
What does content marketing look like right now, especially for a CPG company? Perhaps it’s taking advantage of periods of downtime and creating detailed infographics about the consumer goods industry and the packaging process. Not only will this help customers understand your perspective during this time, but you’ll also have the chance to stand out as an authority in your field.
Adapting your content marketing strategy could also mean taking a page from Blue Apron’s book and crafting personalized, interactive CPG content so that consumers can have even more fun with their products while they’re holed up at home. Bonus recipes in those meal kits, anyone?
Perfect That Online Presence
Take some time to look at your web content and the web content of other CPG industry competitors. Could you stand to revamp your SEO strategy, incorporating COVID-related terms and phrases? (After all, COVID searches are the most popular on Google to date, and your SEO strategy might benefit from taking that into account.)
Have you been meaning to embark on a website redesign? There’s no time like the present. Maybe you’d like to adjust your site’s color scheme, typography, and readability to better compliment the products themselves, or the attractive packaging they arrive in. Perhaps you want to develop a mobile-friendly interface, so that customers can easily add last-minute items to their cart while out on their monthly supply run. Whatever the case, make use of new consumer insights and current purchasing patterns to inform any changes you make.
Demonstrate Customer Care
Your CPG marketing message needs to speak to today’s climate, as peculiar and specific as that may be. The market may be oversaturated with COVID-related messages, but that can make not addressing current circumstances (and their impact on your customers) all the more obvious.
Remember what we said earlier about sending out infographics? You can further position your CPG company as an authority in your field (and as a company that’s committed to their customers) by sending out regular, diplomatic communication, such as newsletters. Don’t shy away from addressing operational difficulties and other setbacks. When items aren’t available, find the right way to talk about the problem (while clarifying that you’re doing everything in your power to solve it), in a way that ruffles as few feathers as possible.
CPG Marketing During COVID? Snap Has You Covered
COVID’s impact on the CPG industry has been unsettling, but you can work to recapture that sense of stability by creating and implementing a solid digital marketing strategy. At Snap, we’ll help you find exactly the right words to refine your brand’s message during COVID-19. And why not invest in some creative new web design while you’re at it? If you’d like advice on best practices for communicating with customers and developing that killer marketing strategy you’ve been dreaming about, shoot us a message today.